Monday, September 22, 2008

What does it feel like?

Sometimes, I forget what it feels like to be in love. To love someone. In that romantic , your-heart-skips-a-beat kind of way.
I was having a talk with my little sister this weekend. I was telling her that I had to end it with the guy I was currently seeing. I didn't really like him that much.

In a way, I thought this was sad. I went from loving one man for almost 5 years of my life, to barely able to like someone for more than a couple months. I know it's not as simple as that, but sometimes I ask myself, "What happened? What does it feel like to be in love, again?"

My sister is 19, and she's never had a serious relationship, yet. She is a smart, independent and very attractive girl. She gets a lot of attention from the guys, and yet, she hasn't been able to find one who she wants to have a relationship with. There's the liking stage, but then as she gets to know the guy, she realizes that there are traits that just annoy her, or that she finds unattractive. She asked me if there was something wrong with that.

I said, no. I felt the same way. And sometimes, I'm scared that I won't be able to feel that way, again. To love someone, and to feel loved.

She asked what it felt like when I was in a relationship with Almond. She knew that we loved each other, and wondered if there was a way I could describe it to her.

It was a little difficult for me to relive those memories. Those memories which made me so happy.

I remember that I was always happy around him. I couldn't wait unti I saw him next. It didn't matter if we were just hanging out or going on a trip. I just loved being with him.

I loved talking to him. Hearing him tell me about his day. I loved watching movies and falling asleep in his arms.

I loved the way he stroked my hair when I was sleeping (well, almost sleeping). I loved the way he kissed my forehead in the mornings. I loved the way he looked at me and told me I was the most beautiful woman told me I was perfect.

I loved reading his cards. I still have every one. And the letter he wrote me when he first went away to college.

I fit in with his friends, and was pretty close to his best friend, from high school, y-lo. Even though, y-lo always teased me. One thing he said to me, kind of stuck with me.

Almond and I were on our way to a ski weekend. Y-lo lent us his car (yay!). This was the first vacation / getaway that Almond and I had in all our years of dating. We were both excited, even though he had a big report due the day he came back.

y-lo: Hey, Des. Make sure that when you guys are driving, Almond is paying attention to the roads. It's dark and it might be icy in parts.

me: Yea, don't worry.

y-lo: I'm serious.

me: Ok, Mr. Worry-wart. Don't worry.

y-lo: I'm serious. Because whenever Almond is around you., he just stops paying attention to everything else.

me: Oh. Ummm. We'll be careful. [pause] Thanks y-lo.

I remember that when I used to work at an amusement park, sometimes Almond would come pick me up. He'd drive for almost 40 minutes, pick me up, then drop me at home.

I remember when Almond used to walk me home after school. We used to stand at the corner and talk. About anything, and everything. Then one day, he suggested that he walk me home, instead of standing and talking.

And so, that's what he did. Even though I lived about 15 minutes in the opposite direction. He walked me home - for the rest of the school year, until he graduated and went to university.

Even in university, we were happy. We lived to together for a short while. It never even occured to us, or to our friends, that we would ever break up. We were just always so happy. Holding hands, smiling, joking, teasing -- we were around one another.

Then I remember the bad times. When we would fight. When he would keep things inside. And never let me in.

Sometimes, I just had no idea what was going on in that mind of his.

Almond and I hardly ever had big fights. He doesn't like to raise his voice. He would rather keep it inside. I would try to get things out. And when I thought I had succeeded and getting out what it was that was bothering him, and I thought we had worked through it. Only to realize that he still kept things inside, and they were still bothering him.

I felt like he had a box. And it was where we would put my mistakes, or the times that I hurt him. Of course, I never meant to hurt him, but I am only human. And I make mistakes. But I felt like he doesn't let these things go -- that my mistakes go into this "box." I could tell when the "box" was getting full. And I didn't know what to do.

That was near the end of our relationship. I wanted him to tell me what was bothering him. I didn't realize that he had kept so many things inside. Until one day, we were talking his car. He wanted to go to California for his career. I wanted to be encouraging. I really did. But not once, did he mention anything about us. When I finally couldn't take it anymore, I asked him.

me: Almond, I do want to support you in your decision to go to Silicon Valley if that is your dream, but what about us? You didn't even mention "us" , or ask me what I thought.

Almond: Well, you can come with me.

me: But all my friends and family are here. Don't you want to ask if I want to come with you?

Almond: I put my dreams aside for you, once. I don't want to do it, again.

me: What?? What are you talking about?

Almond: Two years ago. When y-lo went to Japan. I wanted to go. And I asked you, if you wanted me to go. And you said, "no." So, I didn't go. Going to Japan has been a dream of mine, and I didn't go because you didn't want me to. I don't want to put aside another dream for you.

For 2 years, he kept that inside. I had apologized, but he had asked me how I felt. And I was honest. But, now, 2 years later, it resurfaces. And I had no idea he felt like this the entire time -- somewhere in the back of his mind.

I remember a couple months after we broke up, we had met up again. Almond had wanted to get back together and I thought it best we didn't, since I was going to Singapore -- and it would've been for the wrong reasons. My heart wanted to get back together, but my head told me otherwise.

When I told my friend, J. She said this,

J: Des, even though you tell me all these great things about him. Even though I know you really loved each other. When I think of you and him, I can't help but think back to that day after you guys broke up. You came to school. Then you went to cry in the washroom. All I can picture now, when you talk about him, is you crying in the washroom.

You can't unknow what you know. You can't unfeel how you felt.

I think of all the good times with Almond, and I ask myself, "Would there have been a way for us to work it out." Then, I think of all the hurt, and I wonder why in the world I should forgive him. But I want to. I want to forgive him.

I have yet to find someone who could make me laugh the way he did. Someone who I could have conversations with about anything, and everything. Someone who could make me feel the way he did. Someone who I admired as much as I did him. Someone who I could be excited to share a life together, like I felt with him.

And it scares me. This confusion that I still feel. Would I ever love, again? I want to. But, I'm not going to lie to myself. I haven't felt "love" in a while. Will I ever feel it, again? I want to. I really do. But a part of me, that has known hurt, knows that next time, it won't be the same.


Andy said...

I don't know if it's because I'm in those days where you're over-sensitive or what, but... I was in tears by the end of this post.

And that was me, READING. Not WRITING.

I can imagine how hard this is for you. And I am really surprised by your ability to talk about it so... freely.

I went through an equally hurting relationship, and I must say, it leaves wounds. Lately, I've been so comfortable with someone and I'm sure he feels the same way. But we've both have been hurt in our past relationships and that makes it harder.

The point is, Almons will always be a big part of you. But I think it's unfair for the other guys if you compare them to him. Maybe THEY are willing to start building something with you. You just have to take the risk and LET YOURSELF BE LOVED.

That's the only way you'll also love.

Hope everything gets better and you see things more clearly!

Des said...

Andy - I think I've over sensitive, as of late, as well. But I think that I've been thinking through some things, and I've come to terms with some things.

You're right, I need to learn to let myself be loved, again. It's much easier said than done. But I'm working on it. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement! :)

Anonymous said...

Love is a choice! and from that choice come feelings, forgiveness, and peace. God loves you and choose to send Jesus to save you! Whether you choose to accept someones love is up to you, and whether you choose to love is also up to you. The choice is yours. You'll be surprised at how quickly feelings follow choice! :)
I pray you choose to know God's love for you so that you can freely know love for others. :) God bless!